How to Handle Narcissists and Enablers

The best way to avoid being abused and gaslighted as too sensitive is to limit or end contact with the person or people abusing you. But if you are currently unable to leave an abusive situation, there are strategies that can put you on better footing. 

Stop explaining yourself. The pathological narcissist thrives on exploiting and invalidating others, and your attempts to explain yourself fall on deaf ears. Bottom line: The narcissist does not care about your reasons, feelings, or explanations. 

Don’t make yourself vulnerable. Narcissists view vulnerability as weakness and an opportunity to exploit or attack. The sooner you stop sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings the more protected you will be. 

Don’t take the bait. It’s difficult not to react, particularly if you’ve been actively targeted for a significant period of time, but withholding your emotions when you’re being criticized or insulted is the best way to disarm the narcissist and his or her enablers. Bottom line: They do it for a reaction, and if you don’t give them that fuel they will look elsewhere for it. 

Work on you. If you’ve been targeted with long-term abuse, you are likely suffering with low self-esteem, confused boundaries, and other symptoms of complex trauma. Seek support and resources to educate yourself about narcissism and the trauma that results from narcissistic abuse. People who genuinely care about you and want the best for you won’t dismiss your feelings, even when those feelings make them uncomfortable. 

When Narcissists and Enablers Say You’re Too Sensitive | Psychology Today